Wednesday, 28 January 2015

Saturday, 24 January 2015

Jane Eyre

I have read this novel at least five times. Maybe it is starting to wear thin on me. That's not to denigrate it: it is still an accomplishment to write any book which I would read more than once.

I won't reiterate the plot, we all know the lives and loves of a governess and the manly Rochester. It's got some great lines. One of my favourites was: "And with that answer he left me. I would much rather he had knocked me down."

** spoiler alert **
The co-incidences used as plot devices sometimes stretch credibility too far. The worst offenders:

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Monday, 19 January 2015

Fin / The End


Have any of you seen the Spanish film "Fin / The End"? Or read the book by David Monteagudo?

I saw it last night: naturalistic acting, lovely cinematography, nicely understated style, good music, and well directed. I didn't know what to expect when I chose this on a whim, and was pleased to find myself engrossed. I was therefore a bit dispirited to see some negative reviews for it.

Some of them seemed put off by the film being in Spanish. I don't understand the prejudice some people display about subtitles. You soon get used to them. And they open up a new world of film: great films you'd never see otherwise, and better in the original than any second-hand Hollywood remake. Also, you never wonder what is being said during action or mumbling - it's all there!

Maybe other people were confused about the type of film it would be, and expected an effects-laden apocalyptic film. Don't go in expecting that - it's a thoughtful and tense drama.

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Friday, 16 January 2015

23 Librarians


A nice way to start the weekend: I've just been included on the 23 Librarians site. Each post explores the role (and sometimes "a day in the life") of a librarian in Wales. Appropriately enough, I am number 13.
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Tuesday, 6 January 2015

Hello? Hello?

The dangers of being self-employed and working from home... The other day I had various spam callers pretending I was entitled to money "from my car insurance claim". I used some of the classic methods:

  • Asking to be put through to [fake name] on extension [fake number] - "He told me you would ring, and said I should speak only to him". (Play with this for a while, causes them lots of confusion as they make up excuses about the fictional contact not being in work that day etc).
  • Whenever they give a long spiel wait until the end, then say, "Sorry, the line is bad, can you repeat that please?" Do this 2-5 times. Check email while they talk.
  • Say you need to go to another room for a better signal. Put the phone down and do something else for a minute.
  • Say you need to get the paperwork from downstairs, put the receiver down on the desk, play a level of Kingdom Rush so they can hear all the little barbarians and wizards blowing each other up. I managed to leave the caller for about four minutes and they were still on the line when I finished the level (I got a perfect, three stars to spend on upgrades) and picked up the receiver again.
  • After all that I said: "Sorry, I've just remembered: I don't own a car, and have never had one. I use public transport or cycle." Then hang up.
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